A few weeks ago, after the re-purposing project was finished and we had a new(ish) entertainment center in our bedroom, my husband decided to clean out his closet and re-home some of his clothing to the drawer pace that had been freed up in our dresser.
While sorting through his clothes, he decided he was going to throw out several t-shirts that had become yellow and dingy thanks to a problem water softener in recent months.
Being the kind who hates to throw anything away until I know, without doubt, that I cannot use it or repurpose it somehow, I had him bag up the t-shirts and I stored stuffed them into my “hording closet” until the answer came to me on what to do with them.
Soon after, I stumbled on a nice little blog full of valuable tips – one of which was a miracle formula for whitening white clothes. As a read over the ingredients and instructions, I remembered my grandmother doing something VERY similar when I was growing up.
- HOT HOT err BOILING water
- 1 cup of laundry detergent
- 1 cup dish washer detergent
- 1 cup bleach
- 1/2 cup Borax
Fill the washing machine with HOT water. I filled the largest cooking pot I had with water and brought it to a boil on the stove and dumped it in for extra hotness.
The directions specified washing as small a load as you can in order to make the most of the concentrated cleaning power, so that's what I did.
Once the washing machine is filled and you've added your whites, make sure everything is submersed in water and let it stand. It's best to let it stand overnight, but a couple of hours will do too. Since this was a test, I couldn't stand waiting more than 2 hours.
As you can see by these pictures, the whites I started with were very, VERY, dingy! It’s embarrassing to even show them – but, obviously there’s a good outcome since I AM showing them. I placed a brand new t-shirt on the top so you can see just how dingy the old t’s had gotten. Bad! Isn’t it? You can tell by the products picture how bad the discoloration is too!
During the two hours of soaking, I did take an old wooden spoon and kinda swish the shirts around a bit. I wanted to make sure the cleaning power made it in, everywhere it needed to.
Here’s how the shirts turned out – again, the brand new shirt is laying across the top to show the results best.
For weeks, my husband had been complaining about how few t-shirts he had whittled down to. The day I decided to try the “miracle laundry whitening formula” I didn’t tell him what I was up to. I just did it, folded them and put them in his drawer.
It didn’t take long for him to realize he had LOTS more t-shirts again. He actually thought I had bought a couple more packs.
This is one of those household tips I will be using again and again. Living in the country and having the water we do, I’m sure it will come in real handy.
Now if there were only some miracle formula for keeping my blonde hair blonde instead of a dull, red looking color. I have battled rusty hair my whole life!
Oh well, one of the only pitfalls to living in the country I suppose.